The days of the browser wars are over. Pretty much everybody has decided which browser works best for them. However, you don’t need to be in an exclusive relationship with Chrome, Edge, or Safari. In fact, there are plenty of good reasons to have two or more browsers that you use regularly.
The work-from-home trend is here to stay. And with so many people using their personal computers for business purposes, it only makes sense to put up a wall of separation between work and home life.
This is especially true if your employer gives you a work email and login credentials for multiple services and tools. Logging into your personal Gmail and your work Gmail in the same browser is a recipe for missed messages, sending emails from the wrong account, or getting any number of other important things mixed up because you’ve inadvertently logged into the wrong Google account.
Keeping all your business-related data in its own browser brings other benefits. For example, suppose you’re logged into your personal Google account and search for work-related things all day when you settle down in the evening to watch some YouTube. In that case, your video suggestions may be heavily influenced by your searches during the work day, making it a little harder to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
It’s not just keeping your professional life separate from your personal dealings. If you have any hobbies, you may want to consider downloading a browser just for them. For example, I’m a hobbyist filmmaker and have dedicated accounts with unique logins for my projects. It really helps during each stage of the filmmaking process to have all my accounts, bookmarks, histories, logs, and more in a single place. And because it’s often weeks or months between logins, having a browser with everything saved and ready to go when I’m ready to resume work on a project or begin something new is convenient.
If you have a passion that requires you to spend a lot of time online, like podcasting, crafting, photography, music, writing, gardening, game streaming, woodworking, cooking, etc., consider downloading a browser just for that activity. You may be surprised how much smoother things go when you have a dedicated space to do it in. Think of it as a virtual studio for your hobby.
Social media may also be an activity you want to dedicate a browser to. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Minds, Pinterest, and many more can be a huge time suck. Most of us spend way too much time distracting ourselves with these services. Consider logging out of all your accounts and logging in with a browser that’s just for social networking. You may find that you’re less distracted during the work day, and you won’t fall down so many rabbit holes or get drawn into useless arguments with strangers when you’re supposed to be doing something productive.
It’s no secret that thousands of companies track your online activity. And there’s no reason you need to give them everything. Using multiple browsers diffuses all those creepy trackers into many different places, giving the data miners much less to work with. Plus, if you have an online pseudonym for privacy purposes, having a browser for that persona to use exclusively helps reduce the amount of data mingling between your actual human personality and your online identity. However, you should consider investing in a quality VPN if you want to more comprehensive masking.
Using multiple browsers also makes it easier to delete your data. Suppose you want to close down accounts and delete data that’s been accumulating for a particular online activity. If everything you do is in a single browser, you may spend hours scrolling through histories, log-in credentials, social media accounts, and more in an attempt to target those activities. If you had a dedicated browser to that activity, you could save hours of purging time because you wouldn’t have to sift through so much data.
Limiting yourself to a single browser may actually degrade your online experience. You may think all browsers are the same, but that’s not true. Every browser has its own unique feature set. And while there’s a great deal of overlap, no browser has everything. For example, Safari lacks features like Full Screen Mode, Side Tabs, and custom extensions. And some browsers have special features. For example, the privacy-centered browser Brave turns off all trackers and ads by default and even has its own crypto-currency users can earn. Plus, some browsers are just better than others at certain tasks. Take a few minutes to explore each browser’s unique toolset and workflow to determine which browser is best for a particular use.
Not all the reasons for having multiple browsers can fit into a broad category. Sometimes, it’s just convenient to be able to fire up another program to check something out. For example, suppose a webpage isn’t working on your browser. Could the website be down, or you’ve been blocked somehow? A great way to check is to fire up your second browser to see if the issue exists there too.
Or maybe you’ve been blocked by someone on Twitter, but you still want to see their tweets. Instead of logging out of Twitter, just pull up your other browser to see what you’re missing.
Additionally, you may need to install a browser extension for a particular task you perform routinely. But, you don’t want to use it all the time for whatever reason, and you don’t want to disable and enable it every time you use it. A great solution is to have a browser with that extension installed for that purpose and switch back and forth between browsers when you need it.
If you use a VPN, multiple browsers can come in handy too. If you employ a method called “split tunneling,” you can use the same website on two browsers but make it look to the website as though you’re two different people logging in from distinct locations.
Browsers are like cars traveling along the information superhighway. There’s nothing wrong with having one car to get from here to there. But, consider having multiple browsers like having a garage full of cars: your daily commuter, hot rod, motorcycle, pickup truck, and even an EV. Each has a particular use and unique features. And unlike cars, browsers are free and don’t need gas or oil changes.